Stress eating is (obviously) no good, but here’s a surprising reason why: French fries, cream donuts and triple-decker bacon burgers with cheddar—all the junk foods you crave when you’re flipping out—are even worse for your body now than they are usually. Under stress, our bodies take much longer than usual to clear saturated fats from the bloodstream
, finds a study by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser at The Ohio State University, and these are the very fats associated with inflammation, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Stress also slows down the rate at which food moves through your intestines and colon, leading to weight gain and more inflammation. We admit that the healthy alternative—fish and walnuts—is not exactly what we crave when we’re strung out. But the healthy fats (omega-3s) in these foods may reduce stress-related inflammation and—a bonus—help to reduce anxiety.